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'Heroes' star Masi Oka says 'Lost' helps pave way for shows with Asian characters

'Heroes' star Masi Oka says 'Lost' helps pave way for shows with Asian characters

Emmy-nominated Japanese-American actor Masi Oka from the U.S. TV show "Heroes" said Wednesday another show, "Lost," helped pave the way for better roles for Asian actors by casting ethnic Koreans Kim Yun-jin and Daniel Dae Kim.
"There's a lot of credit that has to go to 'Lost' for its storytelling and also the foresight and boldness to put two Asian characters on screen," Oka said while promoting "Heroes" in Hong Kong with fellow cast members.
Oka said the success of "Lost" gave advertisers confidence in shows with non-Caucasian actors.
He added international viewers are also demanding shows with more diverse casts.
"The world wants to see things that are reflective of our global society that we have. Even in America, there are so many Asian-Americans and so many Latino-Americans," Oka said.
Another Asian cast member, Sendhil Ramamurthy, said he and Oka were also lucky.
"We were very fortunate that they went in the direction of having two Asian characters. I think there's a certain amount of luck involved as well," he said.
Ramamurthy, who was born in Chicago, plays a genetics professor at an Indian university on "Heroes," about people with special powers.
Oka, who was born in Tokyo and moved to Los Angeles as a child, portrays a Japanese character who can time travel. His performance earned him an Emmy nomination this year for best supporting actor in a drama series. "Heroes" is also up for best drama series.
On "Lost," which revolves around a group of plane crash survivors stranded on a remote island, Kim Yun-jin, who made her name in South Korean film, and Daniel Dae Kim play a couple.
Oka and Ramamurthy were in Hong Kong to promote "Heroes" with fellow actors Ali Larter and Greg Grunberg as part of an international tour that also includes stops in Tokyo, Singapore, London, Paris, Munich and Toronto.
Oka also carefully weighed in on the issue of Internet video downloads.
Asked about the use of the file sharing software BitTorrent, Oka said he enjoyed the fan reaction in France, where he noticed locals had already seen the show even before it had aired on TV.
"It takes a lot of money to create a really high quality show. We have a lot of support from the advertisers ... all the buyers. We just feel like we're doing a disservice to them if we do BitTorrent," the actor said, but added, "if we get a lot of people to watch the show, it's only going to be great for the show in the future too."
"Hopefully, if they can buy the DVD after they watch it on BitTorrent, that would be great," Oka said, before adding cautiously, "I am not advocating BitTorrent."
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On the Net:
http://www.nbc.com/Heroes/
http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/index


Updated : 2021-05-07 21:35 GMT+08:00